Sorcerer Subclasses 5e
Sorcerers are one of the three main spellcasters in DnD 5e. They’re one of the more versatile spellcasters with their Metamagic abilities. Metamagic allows them to manipulate their spell slots and empower spells with their natural spells.
Today we’re looking at the Sorcerer subclasses, also known as Sorcerous Origins.
A Sorcerer can get their magical powers from many different sources. It could be exposure to a magical event or creature, bloodlines, or even random chance. However they get their powers, Sorcerous Origins imbue the Sorcerer with magical powers from within.
While Wizards gain their powers through careful study and Warlocks gain their magic through a patron, the Sorcerer’s magic is innate. It is as much a part of them as the blood in their bodies.
Here is our ranked list of the Sorcerous Origins in 5e DnD:
- #7 Shadow Magic
- #6 Storm Sorcery
- #5 Wild Magic
- #4 Draconic Bloodline
- #3 Clockwork Soul
- #2 Divine Soul
- #1 Aberrant Mind
#7. Shadow Magic Origin
The Shadow Magic Origin can be found in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything.
Shadow Magic Sorcerers gain their magic from the Plane of Shadowfell. Shadowfell is a plane of existence filled with the dark creatures of the world. Sorcerers who are exposed to or trapped in Shadowefll for long periods of time may become imbued with the magic of this place, or they could be the offspring of one of the creatures that lurk in the dark and call Shadowfell home.
Shadow Magic Features
The Shadow Magic Origin alters the character’s physical appearance to align with Shadowfell. They are unsettling to be around and can discomfit those not used to them.
All the abilities of the Shadow Magic Sorcerer are connected to the realm of Shadowfell. They can summon a Hound of Ill Omen to harass their enemies, cheat death, and turn their form into a shadow.
The most interesting ability that they have is their Shadow Walk ability which lets them step into the shadows and reappear in another shadow up to 120ft away. That’s incredibly creepy and useful at the same time.
Pros of Shadow Magic
The Shadow Magic Sorcerers have some really cool abilities that make them fun to play from an RP standpoint. The Shadowfell Plane is one of the darker planes of existence and could work extremely well in a darker setting or campaign.
Cons of Shadow Magic
Although I think their abilities are really cool, when it comes to combat, they’re not as good as some of the other Sorcerer Origins on this list. I enjoy the subclass, but I enjoy it more for the RP than for its actual stats and abilities.
#6. Storm Sorcery Origin
The Storm Sorcery Origin can be found in Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide and Xanathar’s Guide to Everything.
Storm Sorcerers gain their power from the elements themselves. Sailors who have fallen off ships and survived sometimes are changed by the elements when rescued. They often gain their powers from close proximity to great storms or elemental creatures. Djinn are also known to bestow or curse mortals with their elemental nature.
Storm Sorcery Features
The Storm Sorcerer’s abilities all revolve around elemental storms. They eventually become immune to lightning and thunder damage, harness winds to move, and control wind and rain.
Pros of Storm Sorcery
Storm Sorcery is another really cool subclass for RP purposes. The ability to control the weather and eventual immunity to lightning and thunder is a really cool ability.
Cons of Storm Sorcery
Their abilities sound cool on paper, but from an actual utility standpoint, they’re really not that great. They sound like they should be much better than they actually are. Most of the abilities require the Sorcerer to be close to or in melee range, and that’s really not the best for a spellcaster.
Some of their abilities let them do elemental damage, but with a subclass that’s called Storm Sorcerer, you’d think there would be more elemental spells at their disposal.
#5. Wild Magic Origin
Wild Magic Sorcerers can gain their power from literally anything. It could be a surge of chaotic magic that they were exposed to, randomly through birth, or a magic trick gone wrong. It’s all chaos and all random, and the Wild Magic Sorcerer’s abilities reflect that.
Wild Magic Sorcerer Origins can be found in the Player’s Handbook.
Wild Magic Features
When casting spells as a Wild Magic Sorcerer, there’s always a chance that something will go wrong with the casting. It can either be extremely useful or go horribly wrong.
Maybe your Wild Magic Sorcerer is trying to cast Charm Person but instead casts Confusion on themselves and everyone around them. In a fight, you may try to cast a weak Cantrip when you’re out of spell slots, but instead, cast Magic Missile and buff your AC.
You never know what’s going to happen.
Pros of Wild Magic
Wild Magic can be incredibly powerful. The Wild Magic table that the player is forced to roll on can have some unpredictable results, but not all of them are terrible. In fact, quite a few of them are quite good.
Their standard abilities are also luck-based and focus on either boosting the odds in the Sorcerer’s favor or altering the odds on the Wild Magic Table.
It’s incredibly fun to play and can cause some funny moments in-game.
Cons of Wild Magic
As you might imagine, it’s very random. For every amazing unintended consequence, there are also going to be some terribly unlucky events. You may end up actually killing a player by accident which could irritate your fellow players.
This class is also highly reliant on your DM. The maximum number of rolls on the Wild Magic table is once per round, so if they forget or don’t have a set idea of how often they roll on the Wild Magic table, then the class becomes a little dull.
#4. Draconic Bloodline Origin
The Draconic Bloodline Sorcerer Origin can be found in the Player’s Handbook.
Sorcerers of the Draconic Bloodline have some ancestral bond with a powerful dragon. This bond grants them incredible magic powers and abilities similar to those of their dragon ancestry.
Draconic Bloodline Features
Dragons are powerful creatures but each type of dragon has its own affinity with a special elemental or damage type. Sorcerers of the Draconic Bloodline gain similar resistances as their dragon ancestors and they also eventually grow draconic wings that allow them to fly.
Pros of Draconic Bloodline
Draconic Bloodline Sorcerers have excellent all-around stats. All of their abilities are fantastic and they’re all always useful. In addition, it’s another really cool RP-focused subclass, especially if you want to run the Rise of the Dragon Queen module.
Cons of Draconic Bloodline
You essentially need the Elemental Adept Feat to make full use of the Draconic Bloodline Origin. They lean heavily on a specific elemental damage type, and if you face anything that has the same resistance or immunity, you’ll quickly become useless in a fight.
#3. Clockwork Soul Origin
Just like the Shadow Magic Origin, The Clockwork Soul Sorcerer gains their magical powers through either exposure from the realm Mechanus or exposure through one of the creatures of the realm. Mechanus is a realm of order where all things function like clockwork.
The Clockwork Soul Sorcerer Origin can be found in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything.
Clockwork Soul Features
The Clockwork Soul Sorcerer takes their abilities from the Realm of Mechanus. It’s a clockwork realm where order is valued above all else. Their abilities allow the Sorcerer to manipulate dice and their rolls. They can remove advantage and disadvantage and fix things around them with their powers and connection to Mechanus.
Pros of Clockwork Soul
If you’ve completely angered the Dice Gods and the domain of probability is never in your favor, the Clockwork Soul is probably the best Sorcerer Origin for you to choose. Their abilities let you manipulate the randomness inherent in the DnD rules and focus more on abilities than actual dice rolls.
Cons of Clockwork Soul
The Clockwork Soul Sorcerer has an excellent set of all-around abilities that are useful. None of them particularly stand out, but none of them are particularly bad either.
#2. Divine Soul Origin
The Divine Soul Origin can be found in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything.
The Cleric and Paladin classes are combinations of healers and martial fighters. The Divine Soul Origin is another mixing of classes but instead, mixes healers with spellcasters.
Divine Soul Features
The major feature of the Divine Soul Origin is that they have access to the Cleric spell lists, giving them healing magics, and they have their inherent Sorcerer spells as well.
Pros of Divine Soul
The Divine Soul Sorcerer is one of the best spellcaster combinations. If there’s a problem that can be solved with magic, chances are the Divine Soul Sorcerer can do it. Their metamagics make them potent healers and damage dealers, which is a deadly combination.
Cons of Divine Soul
The Divine Soul Sorcerer has so many different spells and abilities that it can be overwhelming for newer players.
#1. Aberrant Mind Origin
The Aberrant Mind Origin can be found in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything.
The Aberrant Mind Sorcerer gains their powers through some otherworldly or alien entity. It could be lingering psionic energy from a creature like an Aboleth or exposure to psionic powers at birth.
Aberrant Mind Features
The Aberrant Mind Origin is the Sorcerer’s answer to psionics. They have powerful psychic abilities that let them communicate telepathically.
Pros of Aberrant Mind
The Aberrant Mind abilities are all great. Each one adds a level of utility or damage that’s incredibly useful. There’s not a bad one in the bunch.
The addition of psionic spells to the Sorcerer’s spell list adds a host of damaging options. If you’re a fan of Eldritch Horror or Cthulhu-themed characters, it’s also incredibly fun to RP.
Cons of Aberrant Mind
It’s probably not the best choice for new players because of all the options available.
Check out our Sorcerer 5e Class Guide and Sorcerer Spells.